This pack shows perfect balance and
voltage, but its physical damage makes it
unsafe for continued use.
A couple of readers recently asked
about using clamp meters. A clamp
meter will work fine, but until recently,
most were quite expensive. Fortunately,
that’s no longer the case and clamp
meters are a viable alternative.
You can search on Amazon or other
retailers for “clamp meter” and find
many choices. Be sure to look for one
that will do DC current. My Sears
Craftsman model costs approximately
$70, but I found it on sale during
Christmas for $39. Amazon has several
clamp meters in the $30 range.
A clamp meter can be a handy
device because you don’t need to
unplug anything or find a place to
hook it up in line with the circuit.
Electric-power guru Keith Shaw has
used one for years at fly-ins to check
the current pulled by various airplanes
when he is helping modelers.
Most of our setups have room to
clamp the meter around one of the
wires. Remember, if you’ve never used
one before, you put the clamp around
just one of the wires—not both!
They also can be used as regular
meters with probes. Mine includes a
temperature probe as well.
How Close Is Close Enough?
Whenever I reference a meter, I
hear about the need for more accurate
measurements. For an average modeler
who isn’t an engineer developing
equipment for NASA, any of the
97 Model Aviation DECEMBER 2016 www.ModelAviation.com